Events / People

Christine König and Gabriele Senn on the Vienna Gallery Weekend

Vienna Gallery Weekend was held on May 16 to 18, 2014 for the sixth time. This year 22 galleries presented contemporary art by Ai Weiwei, Olafur Eliasson, VALIE EXPORT, Deborah Sengl, Ursula Mayer, Tomasz Kowalski, Johannes Domenig, Secundio Hernández, and many more. Meet gallerists Christine König and Gabriele Senn, the driving force behind the Gallery Weekend, which was organized by DIE GALERIEN – Verband österreichischer Galerien moderner Kunst (Viennese Galleries Association), where Gabriele is president and Christine a member of the board.

Christine König

Six years ago I came up with the idea to establish a gallery weekend in Vienna. It is important for the city because gallery weekends have been established all over the world in the main cities in order to concentrate at least one weekend a year on galleries: What do galleries do for society, what do galleries do for education, for the artists, for economy. I like the format very much, I think it is wonderful to have the galleries open all weekend, practically day and night. And it’s wonderful that people are already coming from all over Europe to our weekend.

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What do you like best about being a gallerist?
I like being a gallerist because there are no borders, no difference between my private and my professional interests. I am free to choose my favorite artists, I am free to talk the way I want, and I am free to make any interview.

If you would own just one artwork what would it be?
Unfortunately, I would have to own two: I think I would love to have a Giacometti sculpture, a very refined one, let’s say the concentration of one of his figures. And I’d love a hidden tattoo by Douglas Gordon….

 Gabriele Senn

It is very important to galleries that a lot of people come from the outside and that the Viennese art scene thereby gets stronger in the art world. There are many interesting artists and initiatives in Vienna, like the Gallery Weekend, VIENNAFAIR, and many others. The Gallery Weekend is very different from an art fair: Here one has the opportunity to go directly to the gallery, see how it works, see the concept of the exhibition, the program of the gallery, meet the artists.

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What do you like best about being a gallerist?
The best thing is that you get to know a lot of great artists.

If you would own just one artwork what would it be?
This is a very difficult question. Three weeks ago in London I saw an amazing picture by Lucas Cranach. I think that would be the one.

Christine König Galerie was founded in 1989. International in scope, the gallery is defined by an artist-centric perspective that offers a platform for artists whose work responds to the complexities of contemporary society and culture.
Ever since its founding the gallery has been the first to present a number of internationally established artists and their current works in Austria, such as Adel Abdessemed, Ai Weiwei, Pierre Bismuth, Jimmie Durham, David Goldblatt, Leon Golub, David Hammons, Al Hansen, Rebecca Horn, Cameron Jamie, Pierre Klossowski, Jannis Kounellis, Vicken Parsons, Gerhard Rühm, Ann-Sofi Siden, Nancy Spero, Juergen Teller, Stanley Whitney, Sislej Xhafa. Along with them a decidedly younger generation of artists has been introduced to the public: Anetta Mona CHIŞA & Lucia TKÁČOVÁ, Per DYBVIG, Barbara EICHHORN, G.R.A.M., Michaela MATH, Micha PAYER + Martin GABRIEL, Dan and Lia PERJOVSCHI, Tex RUBINOWITZ, Valentin RUHRY, Anne SCHNEIDER.

The Gabriele Senn Galerie was founded in 1997 and moved to its new exhibition rooms in the Schleifmühlgasse in Vienna in 2000. Represented artists: Cosima von Bonin, Cäcilia Brown, André Butzer, Claire Fontaine, Kerstin von Gabain, Georg Herold, Kathi Hofer, Tomasz Kowalski, Kitty Kraus, Dennis Loesch, Marko Lulic, Hans-Jörg Mayer, Barbara Mungenast, Josephine Pryde, Michael Riedel, Max Schaffer, Hank Schmidt in der Beek, Elfie Semotan, Hans Weigand, Amelie von Wulffen.

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